A reminder

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The next FoCL General Meeting is tonight!

When: Tuesday, 30 September, 7:15 for 7:30 start.
Where: The Courtyard Cafe, Chagford

See the Working Group Diary page for tonight’s agenda.

We’ve also got a lot to celebrate, as many things have occurred since our last meeting:

* We’ve raised the library’s profile and membership by running two highly enjoyable events (The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hollow Meadow) and by partipating in Chagford Carnival.

* We’ve raised money, facilitated new library memberships, and signed up many individuals and households as Friends of Chagford Library.

* We’ve built a website, put out two newsletters, and obtained an on-going library display space in the Post Office window.

* Most importantly of all: We sent the Council an extensive, well-researched response to the possibility of our library’s closure, with firm support from our Parish Council and our County Councillor, James McInnes.

To all who worked on any (or all!) of these things: Well done, everyone!

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Representing Friends of Chagford Library at Chagford Carnival in August.

Library campaign news!

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The BBC is reporting that plans to close more than half of Devon’s libraries have been shelved by the county council.

“The local authority had proposed cutting funding to 28 smaller libraries around the county to save £1.5m,” they say. “After a consultation, it said it was considering a new approach involving a pilot of 10 communities working with professionals to run the service. The buildings and staff in those areas would become part of new trusts, separate from the council. Details of which communities will be part of the pilot scheme will be revealed on Wednesday.”

This is interesting news indeed. We’re not entirely sure what all this will mean in practice, and how it will effect the Chagford and Moreton libraries specifically, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more. We’re now feeling cautiously hopeful as we wait for publication of the council’s full report.

You can read the full BBC article here.

There’s more information on the UNISON site here.

And further information on the Devon County Council site here.

(Please note that, due to this news, Unison’s plans for a anti-library-closure demonstration on Oct. 8th have been cancelled.)

More photos from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party:

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Mad Hatter Tea Party photos keep trickling in from the Chagford Library community. The photo above and the next five below were taken by Carol Amos, the last three were taken by Ray Hartle. Thank you, Carol and Ray!

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William Todd-Jones enthralls children with his ferret puppet.

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Mad hats are everywhere.

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Above, Jenny Gayton, Wendy, and Lucy Sheilds staff the ‘Friends of Chagford Library’ and ‘Ex Libras’ information tables.

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Above and below, the Dormouse makes friends.

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The Mad Hatter inspects the raffle cake,

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Above, the Queen of Hearts: Chagford’s beloved librarian, Erica Loram.

Below, Becky Doe and Howard Gayton fill the hall with music, while the Dormouse listens to a child’s secrets.

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You’ll find the rest of the Mad Hatter Tea Party pictures here (just follow the link and scroll down the page).

And if you’ve got any good pictures of Chagford Library events to share, please email them to: friendsofchagfordlibrary [at] gmail [dot] com.

Library Campaign News:

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10418430_842120509138916_918110750080236359_nThe Devon branch of UNISON has launched it’s ‘Save Devon Libraries’ campaign to fight cuts, closures and job losses across the county’s library service.

The campaign is in response to Devon County Council’s recent public consultation on its proposals for the future of the library service which aim to create 22 ‘Devon Centres’ at the county’s busiest libraries and 28 ‘community-led’ smaller libraries.

Steve Ryles, UNISON Devon County Branch Secretary, said: “We are concerned that these proposals will mean library closures, cuts in opening hours and paid staff replaced by volunteers.  This issue affects everyone – not just our members who stand to lose their jobs. Libraries are a vital public service, much-loved by both young and old alike.  Once our libraries are gone, they’re gone for good so we’re looking to our members, their family, friends and colleagues, the general public, and the numerous library campaign groups across Devon to sign our e-petition and join us at the 8 October lobby in Exeter.”

UNISON is Britain’s biggest trade union, with members in the public services and the essential utilities.

UPDATE: THE OCTOBER 8TH LOBBY HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED. Your can read why here.

A reminder for those of you in the FoCL Working Group:

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The next FoCL General Meeting is on Tuesday, 30 September, at the Courtyard Cafe, Chagford, 7:15 for 7:30 start.

The date was changed from Monday, 22 Sept. (in an email sent to everyone on 15 Aug.) , in order not to clash with the opening of the Chagford Film Festival.

If you have any items to add to the agenda, please send them in to friendsofchagfordlibrary [at] gmail [dot] com by Thursday, 23 Sept.

See the Working Group Diary page for more information.